Stephen Grove: The Power of Hope
Patient Stephen Grove, wife Sharon and resident Jaimie Howard
Stephen Grove, wife Sharon and resident Jaimie Howard


Not many would know when meeting Steve that he is in his 60s. He has as much spunk as those half his age, and he was not about to let losing a limb keep him down. He proudly served in the Navy as a Seebee, a member of the construction battalion that builds everything from grocery stores to barracks. He enjoyed his time in the Navy and especially enjoyed getting to see places like Guam, Spain, and Puerto Rico. When he returned to civilian life, he spent the next 30 years as an electrician. The ability to learn to adapt and come up with creative solutions to all kinds of problems was something that would serve him well with the challenges that he would soon face.

It all started in March of this year when Steve had not one but 2 massive heart attacks, and he flat lined twice. As a result, he was put into a medically induced coma, but unfortunately the damage had already been done. The circulation to Steve's right ankle was severely compromised and his leg began to die, and doctors had to make the difficult choice to amputate Steve's leg below his knee in order to save his life. While Steve did not know what was going on at the time, his wife, Sharon, knew all too well what was going on. Reliving that moment when the doctors came out and told her what was going on, Sharon still becomes emotional. "I was going to lose it. Knowing what he [Steve] was going to think [about having his leg amputated], and of course I wasn't allowed to say anything to him because of his heart condition...but all I could do was be there for him, you know? Stand by him." During that difficult time after Steve's amputation, their surgeon called in Optimus, and we sent our patient advocate Lyndsey to go meet with Steve and Sharon.

"We were totally lost, and Lyndsey came in and let us know what to expect. She gave us hope for the future," Sharon said while fighting back emotion. "She gave us perspective and told us, 'What is one year [for surgery, recovery, therapy, getting a prosthesis, etc] in comparison with a lifetime', and she was right. Lyndsey was an inspiration when she showed [us] her legs and what she can do even though she is missing both of her legs. She showed us the world is not at an end. " It was that hope that Lyndsey gave that showed them that life after amputation can be just as fulfilling as it was before. Steve and Sharon needed this hope because, unfortunately, Steve's first amputation surgery did not heal, and about a month after his first surgery, Steve had to go in again for revision surgery to have more of his limb removed making him an above knee amputee. Steve had a long road to recovery, but throughout it all, with the help and support of his wife and his family, he has kept an amazingly positive attitude and sense of humor.

In October, nearly seven months after Steve's journey began, his wish came true and he was able to be fitted and take home his new prosthesis. When asked what getting a prosthesis means to him, he answered with conviction, "It has given me a new life. It has given me my mobility back and made me feel like a normal person again." Steve looks forward to getting back to his normal life now and helping others who are going through the journey of becoming an amputee. He shared that he wants to give others the same help and hope that Lyndsey gave him.

"Optimus has been there for me through all of this. They went to all my doctors' appointments and have been wonderful! Everybody has been so great and so nice. I like being part of the Optimus family!" 
Corrine Beam: It's Your Choice to Be Positive
Patient Corrine Beam
For Corrine Beam, her journey to amputation began on April 11, 2011, when she underwent an operation to address poor circulation on her left foot.  After the same issues continued to affect Corrine, doctors recommended an amputation just below her right knee, but the problems didn't stop there.  Corrine started experiencing diabetic neuropathy which eventually lead to Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system causing weakness/tingling in the legs, eventually leading to the arms and upper body.

After recovering from Guillain-Barre, Corrine was able to fully embrace her prosthesis and begin life as an active amputee.  However, the new change wasn't easy.  Corrine describes that her biggest challenge is getting around and says, "Not being able to move around easily has been the worst."

Thankfully, Corrine has been able to keep a positive attitude.  How does Corrine stay positive?  Her husband answers, "being married to a wonderful husband," and Corrine adds to her husband's witty answer with a solution that is extremely helpful for all of our patients.  
"I keep positive people around me," describes Corrine.

She also attributes her positive attitude to the fact that she is retired and can "do what [she] wants."  

Her advice to other amputees who are struggling is to make the right choices. 

"It's a choice.  It's a choice who you work with.  It's a choice to have a positive attitude," explains Corrine.

At Optimus Prosthetics, Corrine has enjoyed the total experience. 

"I wasn't satisfied with the previous prosthetic company I was working with.  It's been very, very nice.  I have received great results," described Corrine.  "The people at Optimus are very receptive to me and being an amputee.  They have been very helpful."
Patient Update: Grace Norman Placed 3rd in Women's 400-meter T44 at the World Championships in Quatar
  
Grace Norman set a new American record for the women's paralympic T-44 (below knee amputee) category in the 400-meter run, by finishing third at the IPC Athletics World Championships at Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium. 

Marie-Amelie Le Fur of France won the event in a world-record time of 59.30 seconds, becoming the first female T-44 athlete to break the one-minute mark in the event. Former world record holder Irmgard Bensusan of Germany placed second in 1:03.27 with Norman taking the bronze medal with a time of 1:03.83. Norman's previous best time was 1:03.99. The previous world mark had been 1:01.00 set by Irmgard.
Jim's Corner- Changing Directions
 
Optimus Prosthetics Jim Scharf
Jim Scharf, PTA
The goal of "Jim's Corner" is to provide helpful information and be a resource for those helping patients fitted with prosthetics learn to use them correctly in order to enjoy a better quality of life as an amputee.

In last month's issue of Jim's corner we took a look at progressing the patient to a slalom course (straight line to a weave pattern) once they have learned to turn right & left. So for this month the following set of drills are designed to continue to help progress the patient with how to move in different directions and are the next step to improving their balance and agility. These drills can be performed with or without assistive devices. It is OK for the patient to start with a slow speed and then progress as able. To progress these drills we can increase the speed.  For your TFA/AKA patients, maintaining a backward force during stance within the socket will help to maintain prosthetic stance stability. These drills can help the patient to learn different movement strategies when walking in multiple directions. Becoming comfortable with the skills learned when the patient masters these drills can lay a foundation to allow for movement in any direction to help the patient to gain some prosthetic confidence. 
 
Box Stepping (Straight Plane)

Place 4 cones/cups in a square shape to form the box. The patient is to stand up and perform the entire drill facing forward each way to complete 1 lap.
  1. The patient is to walk around the box forward, sidestep, backward, sidestep.
  2. Then repeat in the opposite direction with the patient walking around the box sidestep, forward, sidestep, backward.


Box Stepping (Straight & Diagonal Plane)

Place 4 cones/cups in a square shape to form the box. The patient is to stand up and perform the entire drill facing forward each way to complete 1 lap.
  1. The patient is to walk diagonally forward from the starting cone to the third cone, then walk backwards to the fourth cone, then walk diagonally forward to the second cone then backwards to the starting cone.
  2. Then the patient is to walk forwards from the starting cone to the second cone, then walk diagonally backwards to the third cone, forward to the fourth cone, then walk diagonally backwards to the starting cone.



Jim Scharf, PTA, Prosthetic Assistant/Gait Specialist
Jim has been a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant since 1988.  Jim has worked with lower extremity amputee patients throughout his career.  He serves as a Gait Specialist and Liaison when prosthetic patients are meeting with their therapists. Feel free to contact Jim if he can assist you in any way at:jscharf@optimusprosthetics.com.
In This Issue
upcoming
D = Dayton Area
C = Columbus Area

Course #1
No Courses Scheduled
 
Course #2
No Courses Scheduled

Course #3
No Courses Scheduled

Course #4
D- 11/18, Hawthorne Glenn, 12:00 p.m.
C- 11/17, Tuscany Gardens, 12:00 p.m.

Course #5
D- 11/20, St. Ritas, 12:00 p.m.
C- 11/3, Wesley Glenn, 12:00 p.m.
C- 11/10, Rehab & Health Center of Gahanna, 12:00 p.m.

Course #6
C- 11/24, Flint Ridge, 12:00 p.m.

Course #7
D- 11/6, Clinton Memorial, 12:00 p.m.

Course #8
No Courses Scheduled

Course #9
D- 11/2, Springfield Regional, 12:00 p.m.

Course #10
D- 11/2, Buckeye Home Healthcare-Dayton, 8:30 a.m.
D- 11/3, Buckeye Home Healthcare-Cincinnati, 8:30 a.m.

Optimus Prosthetics, Dayton
8517 North Dixie Drive, Suite 100/300
Dayton, Ohio 45414
(937) 454-1900

 

Optimus Prosthetics, Columbus
3132 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, Ohio 43202 

(614) 263-LIMB (5462)


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